Sharon Van Etten returns to Nashville for a performance at the Exit/In

Last night, I attended Sharon Van Etten's performance at the Exit/In in Nashville.  I was supposed to be photographing the show, but there was a bit of miscommunication between her press agent and the venue.  I reconfirmed earlier in the week, was promised that I'd have a press pass, but the venue didn't have that information.  So, the camera went back to the car.  Despite that, I was treated to one of the most intimate shows I've ever attended.  Sharon smiled, laughed, made eye contact, sipped on wine, spoke with friends and fans, and even added a song I wasn't familiar with during the encore for a newly married couple.

Given the subject matter her songs wade in, the night never felt like a downer.  As with most therapy, I believe true healing is in the initial catharsis, getting it out in the open, and making sense of what happened.  And then the healing begins.  Instead, Sharon's performance felt like a celebration of her troubles, celebrating rising above the things that were meant to break her.  But, there will be scars, those will live on in the songs.      

I'm relatively new to most of Sharon's work, a fringe fan up until Are We There was released.  And now after seeing her live, I'm on the bandwagon, and plan on filling in the holes of my collection.  

Since I wasn't totally prepared for a night without my pro camera, I was stuck with a few iPhone snaps from the side of the stage (some of the best spots in the venue).  They aren't terribly good, but they will serve as a reminder to me to reconfirm with the venue as well as the press agent for each show I plan to photograph.  One good thing did come out of the night, I was handed one of the setlists as the band left the stage.  How cool is that?